You see I have been carrying around an extra 120 pound weight on my shoulders since Tuesday night. Tuesday was a lovely spring night to be outside watching soccer. Mr. F, my 11 year old son, had a game in Nearby Town. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the game; could we win without 6 of our players? All of the parents had memories of the last time we played Nearby Town~and they weren't pleasant memories. We assembled along the sidelines with nervousness buzzing in the air. From the very start it was evident that these two teams were well-matched. It was exciting to watch! We cheered those boys on with, "Nice teamwork", "Hooya", "Keep up the good work, Purple" Very positive good stuff for adolescent boys to hear. And this is where it gets ugly (and the 120 pound weight starts settling on my shoulders). The game ends & my son tells me, "Mom, their coach (Nearby Town coach) said something to me. He told me, "Hey goalie, maybe next time you will get the ball". " That's right the opposing coach mocked my goalie son, during a game, after he missed a penalty goal. I know what you are thinking, "That is so rude!". I did something even more rude and I brushed off my son. I was caught up in the post-game emotion and I didn't want to confront what he had told me. Instead, I gathered my stuff & headed to a post game snack with my family.
Later that evening my son's words started to settle on me. In my mind, I started to confront the coach's actions & words to my son. I thought about my competitive experiences and I realized that this was completely unacceptable behavior of a coach.
Now let me tell a bit about this team. They have been together for almost 4 years. Players have come & gone. The core team has stuck together. Off the field, you would never even know that these boys are competitive. They are truly nice young men. They are sweet and kind. I am often greeted with hugs & smiles and many enthusiastic "Hi Mrs M!" s (ok, some of them do call me mom, too). Not exactly the type that would be ruthless on the soccer field. They are the kind of kids that play fair.
I am not much of a complainer (except to my husband, my Mom & my very close friends, cause a girl has to vent once in awhile). As I thought about those words of the Nearby Town coach, I realized that I should file a complaint. Do you know why? Because my son deserves better than being mocked and so does every child that competes against that Nearby Town team.
As I was saying goodnight to my son last night, we had a little chat about the incident. He was still a bit mad. He said, "Mom, I took that negative energy and turned it into power!" Oh yes, he certainly did. Nearby Town team had many goal attempts. It was almost dizzying. Mr. F. blocked every goal attempt from that comment on, with a lot help from his friends. Teamwork. Perserverance. Fair play. We won 4-2.
I am proud of the "boys". I am proud of our coach (who was verbally abused throughout the game by Nearby Town coach). I am proud of our parents for staying positive in an unwelcoming place. I am proud of my son. I am proud of myself for following through with the complaint.
So take that negative energy, you have been turned into power!
The weight has been lifted.
Now you can call me soccer mom. I've earned it.
Mr. F is quite a good dancer!
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